The Egg-Tech Prize seeks to revolutionize global egg production by offering up to $6 million in prizes to develop a technology that determines an egg’s sex before it hatches.
About the Egg-Tech Prize
Several billion female layer chicks, those that become hens, are hatched each year to supply the world’s eggs. A similar number of male chicks are also produced but never make it to market. The male chicks cannot lay eggs and their poor growth and meat quality make them unsuitable for consumption. As there is no need for male chicks, they are culled once hatched. Male chick culling is a major animal welfare challenge and creates lost-opportunity costs for farmers.
As there is no way to determine the sex of an egg before it hatches, we launched this research initiative with the Open Philanthropy Project to develop technology that determines a chick’s sex before it hatches.
If egg hatcheries had technology that determined the egg’s sex on the day it is laid, over 6 billion male eggs could be used for food, animal feed, or vaccine production. Additionally, eggs are incubated for 21 days before they hatch. This technology could vastly reduce the cost and carbon footprint, of incubating layer eggs, while freeing up space for the incubation of female eggs – increasing the efficiency of production. Estimates suggest that preventing male chick culling would save the egg industry approximately $500 million from wasted eggs and labor.
What to Know When Applying for the Egg-Tech Prize
What We Are Looking For
The Prize aims to develop a working prototype.
The Egg-Tech Prize is divided into two distinct phases.
Phase I provided seed funding to develop the necessary technology to compete for the Prize. Along with the Open Philanthropy Project, we awarded six Phase I Prizes totaling $2,113,915.
In Phase II, the Prize Competition, contestants will develop and validate a working prototype that meets the Phase II criteria.
We anticipate accepting Phase II submissions in early 2021. Contestants do not need to participate in Phase I of the competition to apply for or receive an award in Phase II.
Egg-Tech Prize Awarded Grants
A Microchip-based Chemical Sensor For Early-Stage in Ovo Sex Determination of Layer
En-ovo Sex Determination By Fiber Optic Volatiles Analysis and Machine